Sri Lanka ‘B+’ rating confirmed, outlook raised to stable: Fitch

Oct 09, 2009(LBO) – Fitch Ratings said it has lifted the outlook on Sri Lanka’s ‘B+’ sovereign rating to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’ on the end of a war and a deal with the International Monetary Fund that has boosted foreign reserves. At the same time, the agency said in a statement it has confirmed the long-term foreign and local currency IDRs and the country ceiling at ‘B+’, and the short-term IDR at ‘B’.

“The revision to Sri Lanka’s Outlook reflects positive changes in sovereign credit fundamentals following the end of the 26-year civil war, the approval of a 2.6 billion dollar IMF agreement and the return of private sector capital inflows,” said James McCormack, Head of Asia Sovereigns at Fitch.

“Official foreign exchange reserves were 4.3 billion dollars at end-September, which is a record high, and are expected to exceed five billion dollars by year-end, providing a substantial lift to the sovereign’s external financial position,” McCormack said.

Fitch said it believes there is a real opportunity for economic renewal as part of the post-war transformation of Sri Lanka.

“The agency believes that, with the fighting having ended, it is much more likely that a durable political consensus can be reached on consti